British Comedy Guide

Newsjack 2017 Page 19

Newsjack. Copyright: BBC.

Newsjack

Topical satirical sketch show on Radio 4 Extra. The programme has an 'open door' policy allowing anyone to submit material

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Friday 1st September 2017, 7:15am
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 5,555 posts

I once had a one-liner read for Newsjackoff but it was cut from the final edit. My writing suffers from three shortcummings.
1. It isn't topical enough.
2. It needs more focus.
3. It is total and utter f**king shit. Even I think it's shit and I write it. It really is shit. Total shit.

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Chris Hallam

  • Friday 1st September 2017, 8:31am
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 540 posts

I always wonder if it's too early to be having topical ideas at this stage?

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kate to the party

  • Friday 1st September 2017, 10:13am
  • England
  • 56 posts
Quote: Chris Hallam @ 1st September 2017, 8:31 AM

I always wonder if it's too early to be having topical ideas at this stage?

8:30am? Definitely.

But seriously, I agree; going to start looking properly for stories a bit nearer to the time (next Thursday probably?)

I'm not a natural satirist at all so I find if I get myself into a topical mindset before the window opens, then I find it slightly easier when I do start!

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Paul Wimsett

  • Friday 1st September 2017, 12:25pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,395 posts
Quote: Michael Monkhouse @ 1st September 2017, 7:15 AM

2. It needs more focus..

How focused is the average sketch? Most have a general premise and one location. Not sure how you become more focused than that.

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Saturday 2nd September 2017, 10:28am
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 5,555 posts

There are 4579 bukes by pros and 456587050874597536539007543 articles online - I counted - so who gives a f**k what I think? 15 years' stage time and I still make Chris Lowe look like Iggy Pop.
I once read that a good sketch is one idea or at most two ideas that collide. When sketches fail it may be cos the idea isn't focussed or strong enough, or (less often) the opposite i.e. there's too much going on in there. The first half-decent skit I wrote was about coming out as heterosexual. When I had the idea clear the jokes wrote themselves (not literally).

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Watch Maker

  • Friday 8th September 2017, 11:52am
  • Stafford, England
  • 36 posts

I got two items on the show in the last series (only one made the edit !!) but it was enough to get an invitation to the Writers Briefing last night, prior to the start of the next series. If you get an invitation, go if at all possible. They are all very genuine and approachable. All the info and guidelines are on the website but here are some things I picked up:
* Angela is probably going to cover the big stories in her monologue - I asked why she has to have a quarter of the show but hey ho
* The sketches should be an idea, escalated to the nth degree, a joke every other line, ending on a twist, with the best joke/punchline ie end with a bang not a petering out whimper.Simples ha ha.
* They get about 500 sketches and the same for one liners per episode - but they read all of them.
* Persistence pays. They get to recognise names, even the almost made it pieces. If you're close you are doing it right, just keep doing it
* Get organised on Sunday with papers and news sites and read your piece aloud
* They hardly ever get something sports related !!
Hope that helps.
Now what was that about Wayne Rooney?

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kate to the party

  • Friday 8th September 2017, 12:47pm
  • England
  • 56 posts
Quote: Watch Maker @ 8th September 2017, 11:52 AM

I got two items on the show in the last series (only one made the edit !!) but it was enough to get an invitation to the Writers Briefing last night, prior to the start of the next series. If you get an invitation, go if at all possible. They are all very genuine and approachable. All the info and guidelines are on the website but here are some things I picked up:
* Angela is probably going to cover the big stories in her monologue - I asked why she has to have a quarter of the show but hey ho
* The sketches should be an idea, escalated to the nth degree, a joke every other line, ending on a twist, with the best joke/punchline ie end with a bang not a petering out whimper.Simples ha ha.
* They get about 500 sketches and the same for one liners per episode - but they read all of them.
* Persistence pays. They get to recognise names, even the almost made it pieces. If you're close you are doing it right, just keep doing it
* Get organised on Sunday with papers and news sites and read your piece aloud
* They hardly ever get something sports related !!
Hope that helps.
Now what was that about Wayne Rooney?

This is really useful -thanks! Especially the point about big stories, and escalating/ending with a bang is always good advice. You can't go wrong with the STEP structure (Setup, Twist, Escalation, Punchline).

The only sports I follow are rugby and roller derby (google it) so going have to go way out of my comfort zone. But hey, comedy is pain etc etc

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Mikey Jackson

  • Saturday 9th September 2017, 2:10pm
  • Worthing, West Sussex, England
  • 2,807 posts

What's the betting they'll receive 500 identical sketches about Prince George being sent home from school for wearing the wrong shorts?

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Mrkgrngr

  • Saturday 9th September 2017, 7:43pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 81 posts

First joke written. Back in the game.

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Yacob Wingnut

  • Sunday 10th September 2017, 7:34pm
  • England
  • 717 posts

The Australian PM supports gay marriage. The Australian morning has yet to pick a side!!!!

Later I'll post my sketch about the ninety people killed in the Mexican earthquake.

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GoWithIt

  • Monday 11th September 2017, 12:02pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 154 posts

2 Sketches sent this morning in the nick of time!

Good luck to everyone that's submitted!

Here we go again!

J x

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Mrkgrngr

  • Monday 11th September 2017, 12:02pm
  • England
  • 81 posts

Sketches off. Wrote four this week and had to bin one about Arsene Wenger being brainwashed and another about Beyonce turning into a bee and killing Donald Trump (who had turned into a slug).

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Yacob Wingnut

  • Monday 11th September 2017, 12:25pm
  • England
  • 717 posts

Does it matter what file we send it under? Doc, docx, rtf - is anything other than pdf ok?